A Michigan university is reportedly being criticized for hosting a handful of smaller graduation ceremonies — alongside its larger commencement celebration — for students of different races, sexualities and gender identities.
Grand Valley State University in Allendale is having separate ceremonies next month for black, Asian, Hispanic, Native American and LGBTQIA+ students, Fox News said.
This is in addition to the larger ceremony at which degrees are conferred.
But some people have taken exception.
“Ridiculous,” tweeted conservative commentator Matt Walsh. “Grand Valley State University (@GVSU) is holding five segregated graduation celebrations, singling out Asian, black, LGBT, Hispanic, and Native American graduates.
“There will be no special celebrations for straight white people, of course.”
The university defended its decision, telling Fox News Digital that it’s holding a unified graduation ceremony for all of its students and that most who participate in the smaller celebrations will take part in the larger one as well.
“GVSU is not ‘segregating graduation ceremonies by race,’ as some people and outlets have said,” the university said.
“Grand Valley also welcomes student organizations and faculty leaders to hold smaller-scale celebrations designed to honor graduates,” the school added.
“These more intimate celebrations are a complement to GVSU’s Commencement and are open to all students and their supporters.”
Several other universities have held similar ceremonies in recent years, including Columbia University in New York City, which hosts celebrations for several affinity groups on campus, Fox said.
Harvard University has also held graduation celebrations for black, Asian, Latino and LGBTQ students.
GVSU first made headlines back in 2020, when football coach Morris Berger called Adolf Hitler a “great leader” during an interview with its student newspaper.
Berger was suspended and then resigned three days later.
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